from guest blogger Ian Toone
“Be humble, talk little, think and pray much” George Whitefield
When we pray, how often do we leave time for God to talk back to us? Or do we think prayer is a one-way conversation? If we believe that God still speaks today, shouldn’t we spend more time in silence before Him so that we can listen to what He wants to say to us?
Frances Ridley Havergal’s hymn comes to mind: “Lord, speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of Your tone.”
The Bible says much about God speaking to us:
“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex 33:11). “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears” (1 Sam 3:9). “I will hear what God the Lord will speak” (Ps 85:8). “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’ (Is 58:9). “I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer” (Jer 7:13). “My sheep hear my voice” (Jn 10:27). “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (Jn 18:37). “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision” (Acts 18:9).
I find it interesting that God spoke to Moses as He might speak to a friend. You might recall that Jesus calls us friends: “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:15). Therefore, we should expect Jesus to speak to us. In fact, He promised to give us His Holy Spirit so that the conversation could continue.
Of course, God doesn’t only speak to us during our private devotions. He might speak to us when we gather together with other believers, or during the course of our everyday lives. God deeply loves us, takes the keenest interest in everything that we do, and wants to speak to us through and about all that happens to us. So, let’s expect Him to speak, and let’s be proactive in listening to what He might be saying, remembering that He may choose to speak in a variety of different ways, and that He doesn’t like to stick to a script or conform to our assumptions about exactly how He will show up. Life is such an exciting adventure with God! He might choose to speak to us through a picture, a thought or idea, a feeling or impression, a physical or physiological reaction or sensation, a ‘still, small voice’, an inner witness or reassurance, an emotion, etc. Let’s be sensitive to however He should chose to speak to us.
“Lord God, thank You so much for everything that You are doing in our lives. Thank You also for the many ways in which You speak to us. Please draw us into an ever-increasing intimacy with You, so that we will more and more easily discern Your voice, however You might choose to speak. In Jesus’ name, amen!”